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996 vs. Bulgaria
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  Monday, 14 October 2019
2020 UEFA European Championship Group A qualification match

Bulgaria 0 England 6 [0-4]

Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski, Sredets, Sofija
Kick-off (EEST): 9.45pm 7.45pm BST
Attendance: 17,481

Ivelin Popov kicked off match suspended twice,
from 26:03 til 28:59 & then 42:30 til 45:40 
98 minutes 50:58 & 47:00
  [0-1] Marcus Rashford 7 6:29
right footed angled shot from edge of area set up by a Ross Barkley short pass
[0-2] Ross Barkley 20 19:39
2-yard left-footed stretched tap-in from a Raheem Sterling centre
[0-3] Ross Barkley header 32 31:42
10-yard header from centre of the area from a Harry Kane cross
[0-4] Raheem Sterling 45+4 48:47
3-yard right-footed tap-in from a Harry Kane centre
  [0-5] Raheem Sterling 69 68:05
12-yard left-footed strike to Iliev's bottom left corner from a Harry Kane through ball
[0-6] Harry Kane 85 84:12
picked the ball off Ivanov before a left-footed 8 yard strike to Iliev's left reach
  Jordan Henderson 4 3:03
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Glenn Hoddle

Match Summary

Officials from Croatia Bulgaria Squad


England Squad
Referee (sky blue)
Ivan Bebek
 42 (30 May 1977), Rijeka, FIFA-listed 2003.
5 Goal Attempts 17
2 Attempts on Target 13
Assistant Referees 0 Hit Bar/Post 2
Goran Pataki
38 (17 November 1980), Đakovo
Bojan Zobenica
36 (26 August 1983), Velike Gorice
1 Corner Kicks Won 3
Fourth official
Mario Zebec
, 37 (24 September 1982), Varaždina.
UEFA Delegate- Danilo Filacchione, Italy
3 Offside Calls Against 1
6 Fouls Conceded 10
32% Possession 68%

Bulgaria Team



FIFA (19 Sept 2019) 44th
EFO ranking
ELO rating
Colours: Made by Joma - White collared jerseys, green shorts, red socks.
Capt: Ivelin Popov Manager: Krasimir Genchev Balakov, 53 (29 March 1966), appointed 14 May 2019.
sixth & final match, W 0 - D 1 - L 5 - F 4 - A 18 -resigned on 18 October.
Bulgaria Lineup
23 Iliev, Plamen I. 27
319 days
30 November 1991 G PFC Ludogorets 1945 Razgrad 16 0
4 Pashov, Georgi V. 29
225 days
4 March 1990 RB FC Ararat-Armenia, Armenia 3 0
15 Terziev, Georgi I. 27
180 days
18 April 1992 CD PFC Ludogorets 1945 Razgrad 12 0
8 Sarmov, Georgi Z., off half time 33
38 days
7 September 1985 DM Chemnitzer Fc, Germany 15 0
21 Hadzhiev, Kamen G. 28
23 days
22 September 1991 CD Puskás Akadémia FC, Hungary 1 0
3 Zanev, Petar D. 33
362 days
18 October 1985 LB PFC Central Sports Club of the Army 41 0
11 Despodov, Kiril V. 22
338 days
11 November 1996 RM SK Sturm Graz, Austria 10 1
10 Popov, Ivelin I. 31
354 days
26 October 1987 CM FC Rostov, Russia 88 16
7 Kostadinov, Georgi G. 29
38 days
7 September 1990 CM FC Arsenal Tula, Russia 21 3
9 Wanderson, off 76th min. 31
286 days
2 January 1988
in Cruzeiro do Oeste, Brazil
LM PFC Ludogorets 1945 Razgrad 4 0
19 Isa, Ismail M., off 68th min. 30
111 days
26 June 1989 CF PFC Cherno More 4 1
Bulgaria Substitutes
scoreline: Bulgaria 0 England 4
12 Kraev, Bozhidor B., on half time for Sarmov 22
114 days
23 June 1997 AM Gil Vicente FC, Portugal, on loan from Midtjylland, Denmark 12 2
18 Ivanov, Galin S, on 68th min. (67:28) for Isa 31
183 days
15 April 1988 CF PFC Slavia Sofia 9 1
scoreline: Bulgaria 0 England 5
16 Malinov, Kristiyan A, on 76th min. (75:30) for Wanderson 25
199 days
30 March 1994 M PFC Central Sports Club of the Army 9 0
result: Bulgaria 0 England 6
unused substitutes: 1-Hristo Ivanov, 2-Deyan Lozev, 5-Kristian Dimitriv, 6-Simeon Slavchev, 13-Nikolay Mihaylov, 14-Anton Nedyalkov, 17-Marcelinho, 20-Ivan Goranov, 22-Birsent Karagaren.
team notes: substitute goalkeeper Nikolay Mihalov's father was Bulgaria's goalkeeper against England in March 1996
records: Bulgaria suffered their heaviest ever home defeat in a European Championship/World Cup qualifier.
second half 4-4-2
Iliev -
Pashov, Terziev, Sarmov
(Kraev), Hadzhiev, Zanev -
Despodov, Popov, Kostadinov, Wanderson
(Malinov) -
notes: Kraev replaced Sarmov in second half and dropped in behind Isa
Averages (Starting XI): Age 29 years 274 days Appearances/Goals 19.5 1.9

England Team



FIFA (19th Sept 2019) 4th
EFO ranking Group One (2nd)
ELO rating 12th
Colours: The Nike 2018 away uniform - Red v-necked jerseys with a shadowed St. George's flag, white shorts, white socks.
Capt: Harry Kane ²¹
22nd, W 13 - D 4 - L 5 - F 52 - A 24.
Manager: Gareth Southgate, 49 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 27 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
39th match, W 22 - D 9 - L 8 - F 76 - A 33.
England Lineup
1 Pickford, Jordan L. 25
222 days
7 March 1994 G Everton FC 23 23ᵍᵃ
2 Trippier, Kieran J.. 29
26 days
19 September 1990 RB Club Atlético de Madrid, Spain 19 1
3 Chilwell, Benjamin J. 22
298 days
21 December 1996 LB Leicester City FC 9 0
4 Winks, Harry B. 23
255 days
2 February 1996 LM Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 0
91 5 Mings, Tyrone D. 26
215 days
13 March 1993 RCD Aston Villa FC 1 0
1244 74th player from Villa to represent England
6 Maguire, J. Harry 26
224 days
5 March 1993 LCD Manchester United FC 24 1
Sterling, Raheem S., off 73rd min. 24
311 days
8 December 1994
in Kingston, Jamaica
RF Manchester City FC 55 12
8 Henderson, Jordan B. 29
120 days
17 June 1990 RM Liverpool FC
4th min. for a sliding tackle on Hadzhiev 30 yds from the goal (2:53). SUSPENDED
Kane, Harry E. 26
79 days
28 July 1993 CF Tottenham Hotspur FC 43 28
scored in 7 successive competitive matches
Barkley, Ross, off 73rd min. 25
314 days
5 December 1993 CM Chelsea FC 33 6
final app 2013-19
11 Rashford, Marcus, off 76th min. 21
349 days
31 October 1997 LF Manchester United FC 36 8
England Substitutes
scoreline: Bulgaria 0 England 5
20 Mount, Mason T., on 73rd min.  (72:06) for Barkley 20
278 days
10 January 1999 AM Chelsea FC 4 1 0
17 Sancho, Jadon M., on 73rd min. (72:08) for Sterling 19
204 days
25 March 2000 RF Bsv Borussia 09 Dortmund, Germany 10 5 2
21 Wilson, Callum E.G., on 76th min. (75:14) for Rashford 27
230 days
27 February 1992 LF AFC Bournemouth 4 1 1
result: Bulgaria 0 England 6
unused substitutes: 12-Trent Alexander-Arnold, 13-Nick Pope, 14-Michael Keane, 15-Joe Gomez, 16-Declan Rice, 18-Fikayo Tomori, 19-Tammy Abraham, 22-Dean Henderson.
records: England have faced Bulgaria without losing more times than they have any other opponent in their history (P12, W8, D4, L0).
Harry Kane has scored in seven competitive matches in a row, equalling the record set by Wayne Rooney in September 2015.
Kane has now scored a record four goals against Bulgaria, overtaking the record set by Jermain Defoe in 2010.
Manager Gareth Southgate first England start came against Bulgaria in March 1996. He also started against them twice in the 1998-99 European Championship qualifying campaign.
4-3-3 Pickford -
Trippier, Mings, Maguire, Chilwell -
Henderson, Barkley
(Mount), Winks -
(Sanco), Kane, Rashford (Wilson)
Averages (Starting XI): Age 25 years 253 days Appearances/Goals 27.4 4.5


    Match Report by Mike Payne

For the first time in my life I don’t quite know how to start this latest England match report, suffice to say that the repercussions of the hideous chanting and moronic behaviour of some of the ‘fans’ present will reverberate for a very long time.  This is 2019 for goodness sake, and we should not be seeing this sort of thing in this day and age, surely?  UEFA need to make some tough decisions, it will not be easy to tackle the problem, but tackle it they must, and it goes further than that because society, too, needs to take stock and re-evaluate the whole question of racism.  It is not just a football problem.

Right, let us now talk about the football match, as I’m sure we would all prefer to read about that, and after the defeat in the Czech Republic, England bounced back with as good a performance as any supporter could wish for.

The first incident of note came in the fourth minute when Jordan Henderson went in just a little bit too strong on Kamen Hadzhiev and was booked by the referee.  That was largely forgotten just three minutes later though as Marcus Rashford scored the opening goal, and it was a beauty.  Ross Barkley pass found him and the Manchester United youngster showed quick feet, a turn of pace and a lovely check back, that gave him the space to unleash a fierce shot into the far top corner.  Hopefully that will lift his spirits after a poor start to his league season.

Bulgaria came back strongly and four minutes after the goal, Ivelin Popov was given far too much room, and his shot was goalbound but for a fine diving save by Jordan Pickford.  The save was made all the better after the ball took a slight deflection off of Tyrone Mings.  I must say, I thought Mings had a fine game on his International debut, as he grew in confidence throughout and his passing was crisp and accurate.  The back four looked much more in control, although it must be said that Bulgaria had little to offer up front.  Corners were won at both ends before a superb cross by Raheem Sterling only just eluded the lunge of Rashford in the 19th minute.  A minute later though, England were two up.

This time a fine move down the right involving Henderson, Kieran Trippier and Sterling ended with the latter laying the ball perfectly on a plate for Barkley to score from close range.  It was a very well worked goal and effectively won the game for England.  The pressure continued and the possession was almost all England’s.  Mings, up with the attack, chipped a lovely ball into the middle, which just fell behind the attackers.  On the 28 minute mark we saw the first of the hold-ups in play due to the very offensive chanting coming from a section of the Bulgarian fans.  Prior to the match the England team warned everyone that they would not stand for it, and as the chanting could be clearly heard, the referee asked for a pause to assess the issue.  A tannoy announcement made it clear that the rest of the game was in jeopardy if the chanting didn’t stop, and the game eventually continued.

England found the perfect way to quell the toxic situation by scoring a third goal after 32 minutes of play.  Harry Kane, out on the right, looked up, and floated a lovely cross in where Barkley roared in to cleverly glance the ball home.  Another fine goal and England might then have had a penalty when Sterling was barged over from behind by Kiril Despodov, who had no intention of playing the ball, only the man.

Before the break there was more dreadful chanting directed at, and heard by, the England players, and once again, Gareth Southgate had to inform the officials, on and off the pitch, that it was not acceptable. Again the referee asked if the players wanted to go off, but as it was close to half-time they agreed to carry on.  Meanwhile, a raft of the home crowd were then sent from the stand and seen leaving, not a minute too soon, sadly.  On the restart, England promptly did what they do best and scored yet another goal.  It was the fifth minute of added time when Kane was once again the goal-maker, passing across goal to give Sterling the simplest of tap-ins from three yards out.

To be honest, in some ways it was a surprise to see the teams reappear after half-time, but after some intense conversations apparently, all the players and management were adamant that they should finish the game.  Their correct attitude was that they mustn’t let these morons in the stands win.

On 56 minutes Sterling almost scored again after a good move down the right found him down the middle.  Unfortunately, he and Kane got in each other’s way a little and Sterling scuffed his effort as a result.  A minute later Henderson was prominent in another dangerous attack.  Only a good save by Plamen Iliev stopped Sterling adding to the total.  A minute after that it was Barkley’s turn for a mix-up with Sterling, and another chance went begging.  At the other end a rare attack saw a long-range effort from Petar Zanev well saved by Pickford.  It was good to see such a confident performance by Mings, who slotted in very well with Harry Maguire.  Harry Winks was also showing his best form with some really good work in midfield.

Possession was almost entirely England’s in this half and it looked odds-on that Kane would score when right in front of goal he allowed Iliev to smother his shot when it seemed he must score.  On 68 minutes a poor clearance by Pickford somehow found its way through to Kane just inside the Bulgarian half.  A lovely pass from the skipper sent Sterling away again and this time he made no mistake, guiding the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.  That heralded a chance for Southgate to bring on Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount for Sterling and Barkley, and both players were quickly into the action.  Callum Wilson then replaced Rashford.

On 82 minutes a move involving Trippier and Henderson ended with the ball finding Kane again.  This time the ace striker’s shot scraped against the outside of the far post.  It seemed the skipper would never score!  Three minutes later, order was restored as Kane received the ball from Ben Chilwell and advanced forward before finally tucking it past the keeper.  There was a look of relief on Kane’s face, and why not.  There was still time for Iliev to make two good saves, from Mount and from Sancho and right at the end Wilson had a chance but his shot struck the outside of the post.

From a football point of view this was an excellent performance from England, and there were some very good performances.  From a non-football point of view it will certainly be a while before this game is forgotten.  All credit to the England team and management though, as I think they handled a difficult situation with admirable restraint and dignity.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor


1 - The referee will speak to the stadium announcer and demand the halting of racist behaviour.
2 - If it continues, the referee can take the players off the field into the dressing rooms for a period of time and the stadium announcer will make another address.
3 - If it still continues, the match will be abandoned.